It didn’t take much convincing anymore to get Michael face down on the sofa bed, shirtless for a back rub. The first few times he had still been very shy, but Ella had always managed. Now, however, she could sit straddle across Michael’s lower back and have no complaints from the man under her.
Ella rubs down each side of Michael’s spine, smiling at the soft groans she receives when her thumbs follow his shoulder blades down, digging in slightly to ease the knot’s of tight muscle she finds. She does this pattern a few times, always watching Michael’s turned face for any flashes of pain from his right side whilst also enjoying the sounds he makes and watching the flush cover his cheeks and ears.
Half convinced the man has fallen asleep during the massage, Ella’s fingers start to trace over the tattoo’d wings lightly, slowly following each feather, each hand mirroring one another. Her fingers still for a moment when Michael shudders and arches as she hits the feather lines just under his shoulder blades, where they start to become longer feathers.
“Is this OK?” Ella asks quietly, “I can go back to the normal—“
“Mmm, no, it’s fine…” His voice is low and gruffer than usual, and she catches his eyebrow twitch lightly but his eyes remain closed, “Feels nice…”
So she continues, fingers tracing the longest feathers, shuffling her self further down until she’s sat on his butt. She stills again for a moment, shaking her head lightly in confusion. She could have sworn the tattoo just moved.
Don’t be silly, Ella. Tattoo’s do not move. This is not Harry Potter, we are not having both an absentee Ghost best friend and moving tattoo’s.
She gives herself a mental shake, she continues her slow pattern following, but again stills suddenly, this time gasping lightly as the feathers under her fingers flex.
“What the fuck?” She whispers, slowly running a finger down the flexing feather, before letting out a shocked cry as Michael practically bucks her from his back. “What was that for?!”
“What did you do??” He’s frowning deeply, but not looking particularly angry, more confused and unsettled. The way he curls, he has probably just hurt his side again, Ella notes, sighing lightly.
“I was just stroking your tattoo and it moved!” She points a finger into his face accusingly, “So if anyone has the right to be confused, its me, mister!”
They end up deciding on the need for drinks, Michael nursing a bottle nervously as Ella paces between the sofa (now folded back into its seat position) and the TV.
“This will be difficult to believe.”
“You’re Michael.” Ella stops, staring straight at him, face daring him to deny her.
“Y-Yes? Yes.” Michael drops his eyes to the bottle top, sighing lightly before taking a large drink, “I am Michael, Sword of God…. As hilarious as that now is.”
“So, what, Angel’s don’t have actual wings? Is that a metaphor?” Ella rambles, moving to sit by Michael, curling one leg up under herself to face him.
Michael twists lightly in return, regretting it immediately with a wince and leaning back instead, “What? No, Angel’s have wings, physical ones… I’m just… grounded, I guess. I didn’t know they would move, they never have, I wouldn’t have let you touch them if I knew that…”
She frowns lightly at his wincing, and even more so at his rambling, “Grounded, why?”
“Fighting with my brothers, mostly..” He sighs deeply, jolting when Ella takes his right arm and starts rubbing it lightly, “Why— Why are you still doing that?”
“Because you hurt yourself twisting.”
“I already am a believer, Michael. I’m sure I’ll have a moment later, but right now, I apparently have a hurt Angel to take care of.”
She smirks in success as Michael cannot hold in the bark of laughter. She rubs his arm for a few moments, watching the muscle in his bicep jump with a light frown.
“So this injury is from heaven?” She questions, eyes drifting back to see Michael’s face close down, “Never mind, rude of me…”
“It’s from Lucifer. From the Fall. I pushed, he grabbed, I twisted, he fell, the End.” Michael grumbles, pulling his arm back lightly and folding it across his body in a defensive state. He gets up suddenly, causing Ella to jump lightly and sighs deeply, “I don’t mean you any harm. I’m empty.” He waves the empty beer bottle lightly, before partially limping his way over to the fridge. “I can leave, if you prefer. I know you’re friends with my brother…”
“I also always knew you two don’t get along. I guess it makes sense now it’s… out there.” Ella chuckles lightly, shifting across the sofa to where Michael had sat, patting the space to her right lightly, “It’ll be easier on your side if you sit on this side, I think. Especially if you tuck your leg under like I am.”
They end up mirroring one another quietly, Michael looking more and more like what Ella would describe as a kicked, lost puppy.
“So you’re that Michael, that means Lucifer is that Lucifer and not a method actor… and Amenadiel… wow. Alright.” They drink for a few more moments before Ella can’t help but question, “So what’s your power? Lucifer always asks people for their desires and they tell him, do you have something?”
“I’d prefer not to talk about that, if you don’t mind.”
“Oh come on, it can’t be that bad?”
“It really is.”
“Nah! Come on, tell me!” Ella grins, giving his shoulder a soft push. Michael lets out a deep sigh in response, turning to look Ella in the eyes.
“Fear.” Michael’s reply is whispered, and he watches the confusion ripple across Ella’s face, “Do you have any idea how hard it is knowing that you bring up peoples greatest fears? I don’t even have to ask, if I don’t have my walls up high enough, if I’m not on guard… Lucifer is the same with his desire, but oh how I would love to swap with him…”
“Oh.” Ella’s reply is soft, her head tilted lightly, “What do you mean, you don’t have to ask?”
Michael shakes his head lightly, “I’m not going to demonstrate. I wouldn’t do that to you, you who has shown so much compassion towards me. Sometimes if I get emotional, lets say, my grip on my ability will slip and depending on how severely it slips depends on how far my radius is. Like I said in your work place, he offered me a living place out of fear. I was hurting and confused, I guess I slipped a little. It wasn’t fair on him, and he probably drove himself to an early grave because of me bringing his old fear to light, but it wasn’t purposeful.”
Ella can clearly see that this is making Michael worried, and assumes he probably thinks she’s going to kick him out from what he’s saying.
“OK, so… alight. I’m gonna need you to tell me if you feel like you’re slipping, OK?” She gains a look of shock from Michael, “Because then I can help you. You can’t help someone if you don’t know what’s going on. Just like your back, it was sore, so I helped, right?”
“You’re— you’re still willing to help me?” Michael frowns deeply, head tilting.
Ella smiles softly, leaning to place her hands on Michael’s folded knee, “Yes, Michael. Of course I am.”